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Chinese food in Chicago [and Golden Bull]

Chinese food in Chicago [and Golden Bull]
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  • Post #31 - January 24th, 2019, 1:39 pm
    Post #31 - January 24th, 2019, 1:39 pm Post #31 - January 24th, 2019, 1:39 pm
    Any guidance on Little Lamb or Little Sheep? Thought some Hot Pot might be good with the cold weather. Do you prefer one over the other? Did you enjoy the meal? Thanks.
    "I live on good soup, not on fine words." -Moliere
  • Post #32 - January 24th, 2019, 1:50 pm
    Post #32 - January 24th, 2019, 1:50 pm Post #32 - January 24th, 2019, 1:50 pm
    Was recently at the one on Cermak and Wentworth (Little Lamb, I think?). Still prefer Mandarin Kitchen on Archer for cost, taste, and BYOB (but check on that, I suppose it may have changed).
  • Post #33 - August 4th, 2019, 6:38 pm
    Post #33 - August 4th, 2019, 6:38 pm Post #33 - August 4th, 2019, 6:38 pm
    Golden Bull has a glossy new(er) menu with some slightly bumped prices, but still offers a great value in my estimation on vegetables - huge portions of pea shoots, string beans, on choy - and special mains like the garlic pepper tenderloin. We had a true feast of colors and flavors this weekend with lots of delicious leftovers. I like having this one in my pocket for instant seating and a wide variety of familiar and also more regional and savory dishes.
  • Post #34 - October 1st, 2019, 7:43 am
    Post #34 - October 1st, 2019, 7:43 am Post #34 - October 1st, 2019, 7:43 am
    botd wrote: The entire experience would have been fine if the Chinese food scene in Chicago wasn't currently amazing and seemingly getting better all the time.


    I found myself coming back to this quote. I’m having a hard time keeping up with the sprawling Chinese food scene in Chicagoland. In the past few years I’ve been drawn to the new Bridgeport spots (have yet to check out La Mom though), exploring the ephemeral options out my way in Westmont & Naperville, & checking out new Northside spots.

    Somehow Chinatown, itself, has become my blind spot. So, botd (or anyone else) what’s on your Chinatown list these days? It would be useful to make a list of top tier spots, region-wide, for that matter.
  • Post #35 - October 1st, 2019, 3:05 pm
    Post #35 - October 1st, 2019, 3:05 pm Post #35 - October 1st, 2019, 3:05 pm
    Hah. To be completely honest, I find myself wanting to eat down in Bridgeport more than Chinatown. It's cheaper, I get to shop at Cermak and the food is typically better.

    The place I eat at most in Chinatown is JMC Szechuan as the defacto best Sichuan place in the city right now. Szechuan Cuisine has been dethroned by JMC and Chef Xiong was good but didn't stand out. Go4Food has disappointed the last two times such that I have no intention of going back ever. At MCCB I go for sour pickle fish terrine and that is it. Ming Hin hits a niche I don't need which is Chinese banquet hall, but is otherwise unobjectionable.

    I went through a dim sum obsession for awhile and have burnt out a bit. I would say Phoenix had great XLB and failed at everything else. Cai is good but is closing. My current favorite XLB is actually Hing Kee, but the decor and the rest of the menu sucks. I used to be a huge proponent of Dolo, but I feel the quality slipped. I actually enjoyed dinner last time I went more than dim sum, though Dolo can be a bit pricey for that meal.

    I have always wanted to eat in the food court more, but if I am in Chinatown I want something a bit nicer than that basement and I am willing to pay for it.

    The last niche is Chinese diner food ala Chi Cafe and Golden Bull. The former has a few lovely dishes like their XO noodles and baked rice dishes and the latter is just quality cheap Cantonese food. I love Golden Bull's "small" portions which are still hefty but priced low. I also go to Gourmet Food for their minced beef on rice.

    Finally, I should note that Elite Tea is amazing tea and that Hello Jasmine is overpriced and slow as molasses. Though I think milk tea prices have gotten insane in general. I also enjoyed my one foray to Mango Mango Desserts and I regularly pass through Tour Les Jours.
  • Post #36 - October 1st, 2019, 3:34 pm
    Post #36 - October 1st, 2019, 3:34 pm Post #36 - October 1st, 2019, 3:34 pm
    botd wrote:Cai is good but is closing.

    Wait, what?
  • Post #37 - October 2nd, 2019, 6:23 am
    Post #37 - October 2nd, 2019, 6:23 am Post #37 - October 2nd, 2019, 6:23 am
    botd wrote:Hah. To be completely honest, I find myself wanting to eat down in Bridgeport more than Chinatown.


    Yeah, easier to park too!

    Thanks for your input.

    Here's my current area-wide list:

    Bridgeport:
    Go-tos:
    A Place by DAMAO
    Min's Noodle House (dan dan is my favorite in the city. It's not consistent across sprawling menu, but there's gems in the mix like tripe in mustard oil and diced chicken with serrano)
    Ed's (has been on a rebound last few visits)

    RIP:
    Homestyle Taste

    On my list:
    La Mom
    Northern City (its been ages, neglected in favor of HST over the years)
    Taipei Cafe (been a few times, but more to explore)
    Wufu Hunan

    Chinatown:
    Go-tos:
    Xi'an Cuisine
    Richland (Shan Shaan, Snack Planet)
    QXY Dumplings (since Katy's dumps have slipped and Tong's is no more)

    On my list:
    Szechwan JMC
    Chi Cafe

    I used to love G4F, in fact I nominated them for the GNR. A few years ago we were served rancid soft shelled crab though, which they did not comp, and I have not been back.

    Northside:
    On my list:
    D Cuisine
    Xi'an Dynasty (didn't love it the first time, but seeing good recent reports)
    Double Happiness (h/t King T)

    Western burbs:
    Katy's
    International Mall (one stall I really like remains, Chinese Cafe for best bowl of niu rou mian & crispy chicken)
    Ming Hin, Naperville

    RIP:
    Tong's
    Chengdu Impression (at International Mall)

    On my list:
    MaPo (reports of a new chef sound promising)
    Happy Lamb, Naperville
  • Post #38 - October 3rd, 2019, 6:32 pm
    Post #38 - October 3rd, 2019, 6:32 pm Post #38 - October 3rd, 2019, 6:32 pm
    Jefe wrote:QXY Dumplings (since Katy's dumps have slipped and Tong's is no more)


    We were in town this weekend with my wife's parents. My wife is originally from Liaoning and so are her parents (they live in Shanghai now). They thought QXYD was *LEGIT AS F*. I forget the word, but they used some word I've never heard when the food is amazing and very legit to describe QXY. They made friends with the owners since my wife's mother grew up pretty close to one of the owners near Dalian.

    Xi'an Dynasty (didn't love it the first time, but seeing good recent reports)


    FWIW: The first time I went we had the Combination Saozi and the hot/sour dumpling soup. We thought the soup was OK but needed work. My wife loved the Saozi enough to take her parents and 3 others visiting from China there. They all loved it - everyone had the saozi.

    It depends on how familiar you are with Xi'an/Shanxi food at the end of the day. My wife tells me that Xi'an Famous Foods in NYC has become somewhat americanized and not legitimate at all. Still tastes good, but if that's what you expect that type of food to be then you could be let down since Shaanxi food is famous for its use of vinegar (something Xi'an Famous Foods doesn't necessarily do).
  • Post #39 - October 11th, 2019, 9:51 am
    Post #39 - October 11th, 2019, 9:51 am Post #39 - October 11th, 2019, 9:51 am
    I checked out a few dishes each at JMC and Chi Cafe on botd's recommendations. I'd post full reports in the appropriate places, though not sure its worth the effort, its been kinda cricket-y around here lately.

    Boiled fish and a stir fried cumin lamb dish at JMC delivered all the mala fireworks you'd expect (esp the former.) Not a great value, imo, dishes were somewhat skimpy with the proteins at a typical Chinatown Sichuan price point ($15+ per dish.)

    At Chi Cafe, otoh, I received about 3000 calories for under $20. Really satisfying stuff, baked rice with pork chop & a coconut milk rich & curry-tinged Portuguese sauce & nicely wok hay-ed noodle rolls in fantastic XO sauce.

    So much Chinese food, so little time. Up next is Four Seasons Noodles in Richland per Da Beef's approval.
  • Post #40 - October 11th, 2019, 2:57 pm
    Post #40 - October 11th, 2019, 2:57 pm Post #40 - October 11th, 2019, 2:57 pm
    Nice list Jefe.

    I also like QXY dumplings, but I think I grouched about some of the issues in its own thread.

    Min's Noodle House has the best steamed baos (pork or beef, they are both excellent and distinct) in the city. I often stop by and grab some before or after a meal at another restaurant. I will have to try the Dan Dan sometime, but I really like their hot and sour noodles, beef tripe in mustard oil and the diced spicy fried chicken noodles.

    Can I make some more Bridgeport suggestions? I think Northern Taste is the closest we have to a Homestyle Taste successor, much better than Northern City.

    I was also impressed by my sole visits to La Mom and Wufu Hunan, but one data point is not enough to draw conclusions.

    Final note, Go4Food served us some terribly gritty clams on our last visit. Seems to align with your crab experience and is kind of sad.
  • Post #41 - October 11th, 2019, 6:03 pm
    Post #41 - October 11th, 2019, 6:03 pm Post #41 - October 11th, 2019, 6:03 pm
    botd wrote:Min's Noodle House .... I will have to try the Dan Dan sometime
    Good flavor, a little dry, dash of soy fixes. Pretty low quality noodles however.
    Wufu Hunan, but one data point is not enough to draw conclusions.
    Because carry-out will be so much easier, I've been waiting over a month for some form of menu online so I can call ahead. More JMC in the meantime. I suggest adding their ox tendon & maw to your list of go-to dishes, it was great 10 days or so ago.
  • Post #42 - October 12th, 2019, 6:03 am
    Post #42 - October 12th, 2019, 6:03 am Post #42 - October 12th, 2019, 6:03 am
    I have had that dish at JMC, it was a very good version but I already have issues going through all the dishes I like at JMC.

    Also for your convenience, the Wufu menu.

    Image

    Image
  • Post #43 - October 12th, 2019, 10:41 am
    Post #43 - October 12th, 2019, 10:41 am Post #43 - October 12th, 2019, 10:41 am
    botd wrote:Also for your convenience, the Wufu menu.
    Excellent. Thanks much.
  • Post #44 - October 12th, 2019, 1:21 pm
    Post #44 - October 12th, 2019, 1:21 pm Post #44 - October 12th, 2019, 1:21 pm
    botd wrote:Min's Noodle House has the best steamed baos (pork or beef, they are both excellent and distinct) in the city. I often stop by and grab some before or after a meal at another restaurant. I will have to try the Dan Dan sometime, but I really like their hot and sour noodles, beef tripe in mustard oil and the diced spicy fried chicken noodles.

    Can I make some more Bridgeport suggestions? I think Northern Taste is the closest we have to a Homestyle Taste successor, much better than Northern City.

    I was also impressed by my sole visits to La Mom and Wufu Hunan, but one data point is not enough to draw conclusions.


    I tried the bao at Min's and it wasn't my thing (pork juice explosion destroyed my shirt that day– at a business lunch, nonetheless, so maybe that's why.) Those other dishes are great, Brian Eng recommended them to me on Twitter.

    I wasn't aware of Northern Taste, on the list now. And thanks for the Wufu intel!

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